The opioid epidemic is one of the greatest threats to this nation. The ever-growing numbers of overdoses have plagued the country with no end in sight to stop the addiction. After a long court battle, Purdue Pharma, known for the creation of the drug OxyContin, is looking to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits to the tune of $10-12 billion.
The Sackler family, who owns Purdue Pharma and has been accused by various prosecutors of creating the opioid epidemic. Under the terms of a confidential settlement, the family would pay three billion of their own money, two people familiar with the situation told NBC News.
The rest of the money would come from the family-owned company’s accounts. This potential deal comes on the heels of over 2,000 lawsuits waged against the family’s business from all over the country.
The meeting reportedly took place on August 20 in Cleveland with over 10 state attorney generals and the plaintiffs’ attorneys in attendance. The New York Times has stated that the settlement would be contingent upon allowing no future lawsuits against the company or individual members of the Sackler family.
The money for the potential settlement would not come from a direct cash payout. Instead, Purdue Pharma would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would transform the privately-owned company into a “public beneficiary trust,” NPR reported.
“The Sackler family built a multibillion-dollar drug empire based on addiction,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in May. At the time, Purdue Pharma defended itself from the accusations that it created a successful business off addiction.
“While Purdue Pharma is prepared to defend itself vigorously in the opioid litigation, the company has made clear that it sees little good coming from years of wasteful litigation and appeals.”
“The people and communities affected by the opioid crisis need help now. Purdue believes a constructive global resolution is the best path forward, and the company is actively working with the state attorneys general and other plaintiffs to achieve this outcome,” the company stated.
Now, it seems they see that it would be next to impossible for them to win this many cases against them, many of which have turned into class-action lawsuits due to severity and number of people affected.
In addition to the settlement, Purdue Pharma would also give its addiction treatment drugs to those affected for free.